Alberta sends more help for B.C. wildfire response; air quality advisories issued

Wildfires burn behind a ranch near 100 Mile House.
Wildfires burn behind a ranch near 100 Mile House. Supplied

Alberta has sent 125 firefighters and support staff, five air tankers, two birddog planes and 3,000 lengths of hose to help British Columbia fight wildfires.

B.C. remained under a state of emergency Thursday as 183 wildfires were still actively burning.

FULL COVERAGE: B.C. wildfires 2017

Alberta has already sent 40 RCMP officers with the special tactical operations unit to assist in the state of emergency.

“We’ll be assisting with any evacuations as required or any other police services that are required within the town and surrounding communities,” Const. Matt Underhill said.

The Alberta officers were deployed under provincial policing agreements with the RCMP that allow the commissioner to temporarily withdraw officers from one province to help with an emergency in another part of the country.

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READ MORE: Alberta RCMP en route to B.C. wildfire: ‘it’s nice to be able to give back’

Thousands of people in B.C. have been evacuated from their homes.

READ MORE: Alberta understands toll of wildfires, sending help to B.C.: Premier Rachel Notley

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency has elevated the provincial operations Centre to Level 2 to “enhance monitoring of the B.C. wildfire and, at the request of Emergency Management British Columbia, has deployed four emergency management and communications professionals to provide assistance,” the province said in a news release.

READ MORE: Smoke from B.C. wildfires blowing into Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and U.S. 

Alberta Health Services issued precautionary air quality advisories for Edmonton, Jasper, Hinton, Edson and the Central Zone, which includes Red Deer.

Smoke from the B.C. wildfires continues to impact air quality in various parts of Alberta, and health officials ask people to be aware and take precautions if needed.

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“Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath,” AHS said in a news release Monday.

To view a map and chart of Alberta’s Air Quality Health Index, click here.

Early Thursday afternoon, the air quality for Edmonton was listed as a Level 3 (low risk), but was forecast to hit a Level 4 (moderate risk) later in the day. Environment Canada posted a similar air quality forecast.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires 2017: How you can help

Albertans are asked not to travel to B.C. on their own to offer help. All response efforts are being coordinated through Emergency Management B.C. Currently, there is no request from that province for donations of material goods.

Albertans are asked to consider making a financial donation to a recognized non-profit organization.